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To: County Commissioners James L. White, Wayne E. Erkkinen, Andrew R. Torbett

PISCATAQUIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Do Not Sign Resolution of Protest

PISCATAQUIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS:  Do Not Sign Resolution of Protest

Piscataquis County is made up of small communities of hard-working people. Like the rest of the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a strong affect on our daily lives, creating uncertainty in our region. In such times, local leadership like our County Commissioners should be leading by example, with public health being a top concern. As both medical scientists and economists affirm, there is no economy without public health. That is why it is so concerning that our Piscatquis County Commissioners are using their positions, which should largely be apolitical, to push a partisan “Resolution of Protest” against Governor Mills, a letter that is riddled with anti-science falsehoods about the pandemic, misleading statements about their own majorities as elected officials, a troubling aversion to facts pertaining to the recent President election and baseless election fraud claims (“the apparent change in the Presidential administration”), and the use of a racist, xenophobic moniker for the virus itself. This “Resolution of Protest” is symbolic gesture, with no real authority. What it does accomplish, however, is present Piscataquis County as communities that are anti-science, anti-facts, and xenophobic. This Resolution has already been posted on the County website, on the Commisioners Facebook Page, and been written about in the Bangor Daily News and covered by two local television stations. Dr. Shah, our director of the Maine CDC, was read statements directly from this resolution, and responded. “Every word in that sentence was completely false.” Comssioners White, Erkkinen, and Torbett claim to be representing a majority of Piscataquis County with this resolution, and plan to sign it officially at their next meeting, Tuesday, January 19th at 8:30 AM. This petition is to send them the message that they are NOT representing the views of a majority of citizens and businesses in Piscataquis, and that their anti-science, xenophobic Resolution has already given our county negative attention, and if officially signed will only provide further embarrassment in the representation of Piscataquis. Our Piscataquis County Commissioners must not sign this Resolution and must remove it from the county website as well as any other public forum online.

Why is this important?

Piscataquis is one of the poorest counties in the state. Our leadership needs to represent us in a manner which will encourage businesses to choose this area, and tempt young people from this area to stay. Creating a resolution that embarrasses us to the rest of the state and larger world outside will not accomplish this task. Further, Foxcroft Academy, located in Dover-Foxcroft, has been fostering a considerable boarding program for international students for many years, with students from all over the world. These students contribute a great deal to the local economy during the school year, and, equally important, provide cultural diversity which is vital for our county. Having a public resolution using xenophobic language is a direct detriment to this program, and our community's goal of embracing diversity into our region. In short, this merely symbolic “resolution of protest” gains nothing, and only serves to present Piscataquis County in an unflattering, embarrassing light. For the Commissioners to sign off would solidify their complete lack of competence in their job while misrepresenting Piscataquis County at large.

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Reasons for signing

  • I've raised my 4 daughters in our home in Dover foxcroft, they all attended and later graduated from F.A. and i believe it was so enriching for them to have had children from all over the world learning right beside them. Why not let others know how " rich" our insight is and continue to be a guiding light for other communities and counties, by standing up for what is right and just?!
  • If, as public officials, you disagree with policies aimed at managing our response to the COVID pandemic, there are channels to pursue resolution. Present evidence based data for a start. No one would argue that these restrictions have created hardship. When one presents a viewpoint that contradicts the commonly held understanding, it is critical to choose language and present evidence-based information, carefully. As a public official--claiming to represent your constituency--it is imperative.
  • Because these commissioners do not represent me or the majority of this county!

Updates

2021-01-18 15:08:58 -0500

Hello everyone! I am very excited that we have reached over 550 signatures for this petition.
Here is an interesting update: The Bangor Daily News published a piece wherein they state that our County Commissioners "likely violated" Maine's open meeting laws. According to Bangor lawyer Bernard Kubetz, "A public body's decision on policy matter constitutes a public meeting." You can read the full story at the link below:
https://bangordailynews.com/2021/01/18/news/piscataquis/in-secret-piscataquis-commissioners-adopted-covid-19-measure-filled-with-misinformation/?fbclid=IwAR1hlP4yE9Zu12BAFcF_w66nDGPd7k-5ZmuWj6N8HDtWex_-1nfJ4wpK0cY

Thanks again for your support!

2021-01-18 09:49:33 -0500

500 signatures reached

2021-01-17 10:50:08 -0500

I would like to thank everyone who has signed the petition so far! Please feel free to share this link to encourage others to sign. Hoping to get as many signatures as possible before the meeting on Tuesday the 19th!

2021-01-16 15:20:28 -0500

100 signatures reached

2021-01-16 14:39:00 -0500

50 signatures reached

2021-01-16 14:07:56 -0500

25 signatures reached

2021-01-16 13:41:14 -0500

10 signatures reached